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Linehan enjoys Twitter fame

Comedy writer Graham Linehan, co-creator of Father Ted, has said that Twitter has given him a whole new lease of life. After years of writing in relative obscurity, he now finds he can reach a wider and new audience.

"Twitter is like – it's like I blinked into existence," he told The Guardian. "I've been writing comedy for 20 years, but I only got invited on to Have I Got News For You six months ago. It's because suddenly I existed for a lot of people who otherwise wouldn't have known me. Twitter has made me."

Linehan has an obvious following among early adopters of new technology, if only because he wrote The IT Crowd, the definitive sitcom about techies that is remarkably popular among IT workers.

He has around 180,000 Twitter followers, and is finding that his devotion to the network is eating into the time he has available for creating new sitcoms. He has had to ration his internet time to stay focused.

Linehan’s enthusiasm for the potential of the internet makes him refreshingly loath to condemn file-sharers, recognising that most of them are just fans. Recently he encountered a Twitter post from a user who announced they were about to look for an IT Crowd torrent.

"Buy it if you like it," Linehan gently suggested, to be greeted with the suspicious response: "What's it to you?" More clued-in Twitterati had to intervene to tell the hapless fan that Linehan was only the man who wrote the show.

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